Mar 27, 2023 - Economy

Lyft shakes up leadership amid tough battle with Uber

Photo: Mat Hayward/Getty Images

Early Amazon executive David Risher is taking over as CEO of Lyft as the company's co-founders take a step back from day-to-day operations.

Why it matters: The ride-share company has struggled to keep up with rival Uber and yet to post a profit.

  • Unlike Uber, Lyft's operations remain confined to the U.S. and Canada, and it hasn't diversified into delivery (though it does operate a bike and scooter rental business, as well as a small ad network).
  • While its losses have been shrinking, Lyft recently announced a weaker-than-expected outlook for its current quarter.

Driving the news: Lyft co-founder Logan Green is ceding the chief executive job to board member Risher on April 17, while co-founder and president John Zimmer is also stepping back.

  • Green and Zimmer will transition to board chair and vice chair, respectively. Current chair Sean Aggarwal will become lead independent director.
  • Risher joined Lyft's board of directors in 2021.
  • He was Amazon's 37th employee, eventually becoming its first head of product and head of U.S. retail. He was also a general manager at Microsoft. He then co-founded Worldreader, a nonprofit focused on providing books to kids.

What they're saying: "The macroeconomy is tough and the world is full of some uncertainty and that’s a real factor for sure and, then, when you zoom in one click, the competitive environment is tough," Risher told the Wall Street Journal. "We have a very aggressive—very aggressive—competitor."

  • "All founders eventually find the right moment to step back and the right leaders to take their company forward," Green said in a statement, adding that Risher "has the right energy, ambition, and experience to lead Lyft into the future."

What we're watching: Lyft's stock price went up by more than 3% in after-hours trading following the announcement.

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